Planning a kitchen
By Liz Ransome
Article 3 of 8
Our guide takes you through how much a typical kitchen costs, how to get a bargain kitchen, where and how you can cut costs.
The cost of getting a new kitchen can escalate easily, running into thousands depending on what materials you go for and which company you use. But choosing carefully and using a few money-saving tricks could cut your final bill considerably.
We've spoken to thousands kitchen owners (2,154) and experts to get their insider tips on how to cut the cost of your kitchen. We've also worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which publishes average building work and repair costs, to bring you the average price of a new kitchen.
Average kitchen cost
To help you work out how much you should expect to pay, the table below reveals the cost for a new standard kitchen and bespoke kitchen, as calculated by RICS. It also shows the prices based on a terraced, semi-detached and detached house.
These prices include the removal of existing units and installation of new units, fittings, flooring, wall tiles, as well as plumbing and decorating. They also include a built-in hob, cooker, extractor fan, kitchen sink and taps.
Refresh kitchen units, doors and worktops
For those who want to refresh rather than replace their kitchen, below we round up the prices for fitting replacement worktops, and the replacement or repair of doors and drawers.
|Kitchen worktop replacement|
|Material quality, thickness and width||1m||2m||3m||5m|
|Standard quality 38mm thick and 600mm wide laminated plastic with rolled edge|
|Good quality 38mm thick and 600mm wide laminated plastic with rolled edge|
Kitchen budget planner
Now you know the average costs, work out roughly how much you feel you need to spend and then decide on a budget to stick to.
To help you assess how much you will need to spend, download our budget planning calculator to work out costs for extra work on heating, plumbing and electrics.
Cheap kitchen tips
We asked 2,154 kitchen owners what they did to cut the cost of their kitchen. Which? members can log in to see what tricks you could employ to shave money off your fitted kitchen.
Our page on kitchen units, doors and worktops will also give you more of an idea as to what materials are available, and which will better stand the test of time, according to people who have lived with them.
Kitchen sales and second-hand kitchens
Look out for sales to grab a bargain kitchen – post-Christmas and pre-Easter are usually good times to buy.
Once you've found a company you like, if it can't reduce the price any further, ask whether it will include the sink or certain appliances for no extra charge.
Avoid giving a company more than 25% deposit before everything is delivered. If you're able, pay at least £100 of the deposit on your credit card. This will give you extra rights, should you encounter problems later on. Check the payment schedule before signing any contracts for products and fitting.
You can also buy a second-hand kitchen at a bargain price, but it’s vital to check it all fits well and that care has been taken to avoid damaging the kitchen when units are removed from another building.
Whether you get a new kitchen or a second-hand one, if it's from a big brand, it's worth checking how highly its customers rate it.
Our fitted kitchens review rates and ranks the most popular fitted kitchen brands based on customer feedback, including B&Q, Homebase, Ikea, John Lewis, Magnet, Wren Living, Wickes and Howdens Joinery.
If you decide to buy all new appliances, a typical list, including a washing machine, built-in oven, hob, cooker hood, dishwasher and fridge freezer, will cost from around £1,500, if you choose budget Best Buy-rated appliances.
For a top-of-the range Best Buy American-style fridge freezer, dishwasher, range cooker and hood, you'd pay around £5,000. Read our full guide to kitchen appliances for more information.
Kitchen installation and tradesman costs
Installation is an extra expense on top of the kitchen itself and could be anything from £250 for pre-assembled units up to around £1,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and what's being installed.
Your kitchen's plumbing, electrical wiring and waste water pipes also have a bearing on the overall cost. The more pipework and wiring you need to move, the higher the cost of your kitchen improvement will be. So if you can keep the layout of your old kitchen, the cheaper the installation will be.
Many kitchen companies offer an installation service, at extra cost. We asked customers to rate the firm they used for installation, including the speed and quality of installation, the amount of mess made and the communication with their installer. Overall customer scores ranged from 84% to 56%, so it's worth taking a look at our guide to kitchen brand installation to find out how your preferred company scored.
But you don't have to use the kitchen company you buy from to install it; 25% of people in our survey found their own installer, and 9% installed it themselves. 30% of the people who used their own installer said it was because it was cheaper.
You can use our free Which? Trusted Trader service to find recommended plumbers, electricians and kitchen fitters who have been through our stringent vetting process.
To find out about consumers' experiences of buying and installing a new kitchen, we surveyed 2,154 Which? members in April and May 2016 about the kitchen they bought in the last five years.
We also compiled priRICS uses cost data from its Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) database, where costs are collated from a variety of sources and analysed, to arrive at the average prices. Material costs are based on the best trade prices from a range of suppliers across the UK, which are then benchmarked to reveal the best national average.
Labour rates are based on the current Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council wage agreement. It then uses this data in a standardised model of the average kitchen.